Author Topic: Magness, Chapters 1-4  (Read 2993 times)


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Magness, Chapters 1-4
« on: January 21, 2004, 06:47:02 am »
<11,999 B.C.>



   “There is no hope!” The voice echoed into his mind like a splinter ebbing back and forth into an enormous blood blister long caked in its own blackened sludge, “You will not find...”

   “I will.” He commanded the voice in a soft dulled tone. He strode on into the wastelands of the newly formed and now snowcapped burgs. A chant, a spell, a faint white glow about his head, and then the plunge into the deep caverns of the awaiting abyss...

   If you let the cold engulf you, if you become one with it, it cannot sway you. Your body will still grow cold and blue, but you can ignore these things and move on if you don’t struggle against it. His blood seamlessly synched with the water flowing around him; it chilled and almost froze as it swarmed within his veins. Eyes turned into unblinking search beacons, casting rays this way and that in the wreckage of the deep.

   His weapon was held long and behind him, making him look like a kind of tropical fish or ray with its upturned blade bending and catching the last hints of light from above. Legs and arms stopped, the scythe was brought around, lips moved faintly, a flare of red light emanated from the blade, and the rubble was lit up, to his concealed horror and disgust.

   Twisted metals, broken shards of shiny glass-like material, and a fish gnawing on something that resembled a right hand (already missing its index and middle fingers) were only a few of the sights. It was a hand. He could somehow smell the decay and blood under there. Even in the cold and the water, he knew that smell, intimately. It was part of a former life that seemed far away now, in a distant dream.

   There was no time for that. There was never enough time for anything anymore. Again, the voice begged him to stop, “No hope...” It pleaded despairingly, “...Nothing left.” This time he chose to ignore it, and he went on.

   Three months time was spent in this same grueling manner. Several hours would pass; he would rise from the depths to a solid chunk of ice and then command it not to move from its spot. Upon doing so, he would either rest, partake in the local variety of Salmon-like fish (of which he had detested as a child though now it had a more elegant taste with a simple spell he once watched a sorceress cast...or was it a wizard? he thought to himself), or fight/ignore the voice until one of them gave up for another hour or so.

   He finally thought he saw something, a faint glow or light, when he found the ruins of the ominously blackened Water Fortress. But it was not a glow or a light, it was nothing. Neither a scrap of clothing, nor a hint of flesh or bone-and certainly not the ornament the wise men had given her, although the last he had seen it with her the light was fading fast-was found. For all he knew, that jewel was powerless and in the belly of some sea beast by now. Although he knew it had to be otherwise.

   Then he noticed it; the decay, the smell of blood. It did not reside in this room, this one room that proved to be, quite easily, the most important room in his entire life; the room where he had lost everything...twice. Now it proved again to be important on some fundamental level. This was another Omen. Not a Black one, no, but one of hope, a White Omen of sorts. Three soundless words escaped his lips, bound for the voice that taunted him.

   “There is hope.”

   There was a way now, he knew. It would be tricky, and he wouldn’t like the path, but there it was, plain as the chill that ran up and down his spine when he dived in and out of the icy blackness. Would he need someone like those times before? He didn’t know. He’d only know on the way. Like before.

   Was this destiny? No, he knew too much about how things worked now (had, in fact, since he was a child) to believe in fate. Sure, some things can be pulled and prodded with wire strings and bamboo poles, but there is no such thing as fate (he remembered hearing someone talking to a Poyozo about this somewhere in his childhood; perhaps it was a dream, or perhaps it was both).

   The heavy oaken door seemed to stand without any support. The hinges were attached to nothingness. Upon the door, three words were writ. No, they weren’t written, they were engraved, they were part of the door. The edges of the large black letters seemed brimmed with gold. This is what they said:

--- (The Princess) ---
< (Kid) >

   The handle was the same type of shining gold that lined the letters. It beckoned to be held, to be turned, to be pulled. He had no choice. His thin hand, gloved in comfortable leather, went to it. He held it, turned it, and pulled it as easily as if it were made of paper. Instantly a fantastic swirl of blue light emerged and engulfed the doorway. He stepped forward, into the light, entranced with the sounds of wind and rapture that surrounded him.

   The blue light swirled past him in great bright folds of azure, sapphire, cerulean, and indigo. He came out of the light and into an unfamiliar bustling place. The blue light faded to a dot behind him. No one in this place seemed to notice this happen. He didn’t notice the blue light behind him nor did he notice most of the people, or care about them in fact. He was focused on someone far in the distance past a large grouping of people. Her hair seemed different, a faded yellow color, and her entire image seemed to fade in and out of view. But her eyes; they were the same sharp color; and they did not fade with the rest of her.

   For a long moment, a few seconds, a few minutes, a lifetime? He stood there transfixed, hypnotized, gazing upon this sight. His feet moved forward, but every time he did, she stayed exactly the same distance away. His hand shot out in desperation. His mouth opened to call to her.

   The ground was damp with dew. The cool night air was fresh and unsullied to the point of hygienic cleanliness that reminded him of something like Windex. The stars in the sky twinkled more then he had ever remembered seeing them as a child. The truth was that there was now more dust in the atmosphere, remnants of “The Destruction”.

   His skin seemed luminous in the gloom of those hours of darkness as he woke from his dream. A stern look of consternation spread across his face.

   “Where was it?” He whispered to himself. He couldn’t remember where the door without walls had stood. He couldn’t remember what the unfamiliar place it led to looked like, the people there, or the clothing they wore.

   “No hope in dreams.” The voice said to him, laden with its own sad dismay.

   The great and powerful witching hour was upon him. He dug at the earth beneath the tombs small stone indicator (no one else would ever know she was there) with his hands and they instantly became caked in the coffee-colored dirt. Every now and then, he’d look up; checking the stars to make sure the hour hadn’t past. Shouldn’t have fallen asleep he told himself. The dream meant something though, that’s why things happened the way they did.

   Then he came upon it at last. It was wrapped in a smooth (although now smudged with dirt in several places, most of it flaked off the silk as he had broken up the earth) material he knew well. It had been a part of his wardrobe until he had finally come back here. He quickly, though with meticulous care, striped the cape from the figure before him.

   It was a wondrous marvel. The skin was the same creamy color he had remembered from the later parts of his childhood. Before, she had a slightly auburn-colored tone, full of life and radiance. There was almost no sign of decay. It was as if the slimy maggots and worms he had almost expected wished to stay away from the body. Her cerulean hair was fading to white, but had grown a few inches longer since he had buried her. Her perfectly trimmed and manicured nails had also grown out considerably, but the tips remained in tact like a ghost of proper etiquette.

   The smell was the same though; the smell of death. There is a base smell to death outside of just blood and decay. It’s a soulless smell. It’s the same as an empty attic or crawlspace; a stale smell like woodchips, only somehow entirely different. He did not gag or hold his nose in disgust. He simply took the glove off his right hand as he straddled her waist. With that hand he stroked her cheek lovingly as if she were a delicate porcelain doll. He said a brief prayer; it too was a phantom of that former life as a child.

   “I’m sorry...” The words seemed so foreign to him now. He couldn’t remember ever speaking them to anyone but possibly his sister. He lifted her cotton shirt and exposed her stomach, her chest, her long cold, yet still somehow supple breasts. He touched one of her milk chocolate-colored areola and his face contorted into a small frown. It was much closer to the color he remembered her skin being. At this, he readied his scythe, “...I know you would understand...mother.”

   Those words too had been difficult to say. He hadn’t thought of her as such since he was a youth, since before her shift. At first he and his sister had almost thought it was simply grief over the passing of their father. There was something else though. She became a work horse, almost never ceasing. She still seemed obsessed with the energy transfer, even though it had taken their father from them. He remembered her taunting and laughing at him then; telling him that he too deserved to be bound to the earth with the others whom lacked her own form of enlightenment. This person who took his mother ate away at his very soul and it angered him.

   Of course, there was something more important than those base things they knew, something else that flowed around them; the Black Wind. It never died within him, even when he was sent away, even when he grew to be a man, when he was confronted by the people set out to kill him, even as that great flaming bastard was finally destroyed in his, no, this, very era, right before his very eyes. The Wind still raged on. It had reminded him of his goals, it guided him, and eventually, it saw to it that the fiery demon was defeated. It seemed to taunt him at first, when he was a child, he remembered, much like the voice was doing now.

   Again, there was no time to be reflecting on the past. No time for memories he would much rather forget. Times he’d much rather change. He shook the thoughts from his head and focused on the task at hand.

   He had made the difficult journey back past the badlands of snow and ice. He went on even beyond the jutting debris of that ominously dark tower; that dark tower which had brought forth both a terrible nightmare and a fabulous dream when his eyes first lay upon it, floating high above. He went to the New Mountain, not much further to the South. Here, more winds and even more cold assailed him, screaming for him to fall, trying to coax him to leave. Rocks and dust fell upon him; trying to push him back, make him slip, lose his grip, burn his eyes. He would not be stopped by such small forces of nature. It would take a demon with as great power as his own to accomplish such a feat.

   Another night fell and another witching hour came upon him. It was then that he found that which he had sought, The Cave of Time. The blue dot of an entry-which had always reminded him of a curtain blocking the sun that had a hole in it-was long gone. That he already knew though. He had come back from this place before, after leaving the End.

   He opened the pack-he had only recently acquired after returning-that he had slung over his right shoulder. It was just half filled with various objects: his Amulet, a couple extra changes of clothing, various medical supplies and magical drugs, and many other small trinkets. The two he went for were enveloped in part of that cape that was currently still wrapped around his mother, who was now safely buried back in the ground.

   He opened them with the same gentleness he had used when he touched his mother’s cheek. The first was a long pale-white curved tusk of ivory-like material. The second now reminded him of some dried pink fruit, like a large unripe strawberry or cherry. There were four parts to it, and it was encrusted with a dark (was it black?) substance that had the texture of mostly hardened muck or mud.

   Foreign, alien, mystical words stirred from out of his voice. He held the murky mysterious heart in his left hand, the pointy pallid white rib in his other.

   “Now the foretold moment has arrived...Swap my being from this world to...!” At that moment, he struck the point of the rib into the center of the heart. Nothing happened. His eyes remained transfixed on the object before him; the impaled heart. At first he thought the rib was falling out of the heart, and that was what made the enchantment fail. Then he saw that it was not just the top portion of the rib that was disappearing into the nucleus of the heart, but the bottom end as well. It was being absorbed by it.

   He stood there hypnotized by the sight until the rib was gone from sight. After a moment, he thought that it would again not succeed. Then it happened. The heart began to throb with new life and vitality. The dark sludge burned off-the smoke attacked his senses-and the heart glowed healthy pink once again. He felt relieved somewhat. Things were suddenly going as he had planned. The beating of the heart intensified and filled his ears with their heavy drumming.

   Then it struck him; like that first bolt lightning that had smashed into him back in his castle when he fought the kid-whom he would later, in the Water Fortress and on Death Mountain, learn to secretly admire-and the despicable frog. He saw it; the electrical surge of power radiating from the heart. It was a sinister dark light, like a shadow. It spread up his arm with zeal and a fever-pitch rate of speed.

   More then hurt and more then shocked, he was annoyed. This was a surprise and he did not enjoy surprises. He buckled under the pulsing heart’s power and was forced down to one knee. The heart pulsated with a bright red glow that grew with each beat and began to fill the room with crimson light. He was feeling faint. The radiance of the light was getting too bright for his eyes. His eyes were absorbed in it though, no matter how hard he tried to pull his face away, his eyes stuck to the image of the brilliantly bright ruby heart that was clasped in a death grip in his hand.

   He could not endure it much longer; it was sapping his strength, draining his energy, expending his ability, it was killing him.

   “I knew it.” A faint echo of a voice told him. It seemed so far away, the room seemed far away. Everything felt so far away, “I told you. Didn’t I? There is no hope. Do you think she remembers you? Do you think she cares what happens to you? I’d bet that she’s moved on by now. She’s found a man to settle down with. She’s had children. She hasn’t thought about you like you have ached over the years for her. And now you’re going to die; and for what?”

   “For her, for everything I’ve lived for, fought for, and even died for.” He said through clenched teeth, biting back the pain. He could no longer feel his fingers, his hand was going numb, and his arm was burning in pain, “I don’t matter.”

   “So be it.” Another voice, this one delicate, not the other, cutting voice, but much more familiar, loving, affectionate, resonated from within his mind. No, not from within, almost, but no, it came from the direction of his hand, the heart, “Find your sister, my son.”

   The brilliant burgundy light flashed and flickered into a profoundly deep cobalt blue-it was only then that he saw the resemblance of this light to the frozen, watery depths of that vast Zealian Ocean which he had spent the last seven or eight fortnights immersed within-that filled the room with its own dazzling intensity. The Cave of Time flickered out of existence, and all was that vivid blue, rushing past him in every direction. His scythe now seized in his right hand, his pack of odds and ends tucked at his side, and the now fading heart still held-now much more gently-in his left hand.

   He continued to watch as his mother’s heart quietly disappeared from all existence. A rhyme he had long forgot that his sister had recited at their father’s wake came suddenly into his mind. Before even that, their mother had whispered it so softly into each of their ears on their fifth year, so soothingly, like they were still newborn babes.

“Live another day.
Fight another fight.
Struggle against the darkness,
Do it for the light.

If you stop,
Before your last breath,
You’re living naught.
You’re living death.

So be brave.
Be of sound mind.
Endure life’s jolts,
Tolerate the grind.

Live and love,
Forget your hate.
Peace is with you.
Don’t yield to fate.

The Black Wind will blow,
And then you will know.
The dark may fight,
But so too will your light.”

   The blue light was giving way. It was opening up, into another world, another time. Where was it, and more importantly, when was it? Everything seemed so unfamiliar now. The heart was gone, but his powers weren’t fully restored. He didn’t even know if they would be restored. For all he knew, some evil beasts could be lurking around the next bend. His left arm lay slack at his side. He could still no longer feel his fingers, but the dullness was very slowly and agonizingly departing.

   In its place, sharp, hot pins and needles seemed to strike every part of his arm, burning straight to the nerves. He let out a small dissatisfied grunt, with a scowl spread across his face, before he passed out and struck the hard surface of the ground. Was it rock, compact dirt, cement, or metal?

   There was no time for that. There didn’t seem to ever be enough time for much of anything anymore. A trickle of blood ran down his temple and clotted in the light blue hair of his brow. He could no longer tell or be bothered in knowing or not knowing.

   If the past is to alter...So be it.

Author's Notes

Okay, so there's the beginning of my very first Fanfic (yippy! i've reached Nerddom...Nerdom? Nerd-dom...whatever)! I wrote this first chapter in a flurry (one day! that's surprising for me, especially with the amount of effort I feel I put into this). I feel like explaining lots of things right now though.

*Some of this may or may not be Spoiler-friendly to the future of my fic, there's more definate spoilers at a lower part of this humongous three part thread*

The title of the entire fic is "Magness". I know, I know "ANOTHER" fanfic about Magus, but I hope you enjoy it/read it. As I was pondering what to do with Magus, I thought about driving him insane (the title is 1 part Magus and 1 part Madness for ou slow learners out there). His quest so far seemed fairly nutso already. He had accomplished his goal of defeating Lavos, but had yet to actually find his sister. I thought about making an entire quest where he finds her, but ends up that he had much earlier gone insane and was living this dream inside some kind of hospital. Although then I hit a block: hospital in 1200BC? So I re-thought things and we have "Magness" as it is currently.

Mainly it's around the same, although I doubt that it'll end with him in an insane asylum...Now, with this story, I've pulled out all the stops. I've already put in PLENTY of subterfuged references to both CT & CC, as you undoubtably read, and plenty of other crapola as well.

You may be confused by the opening lines that are displayed in CAPS...They are a re-working of that quote from my current sig. I actually have been putting similer text in the beginning of ALL my stories (as they all involve multidimensional timelines).

The story starts out in 1201B.C. (God help me if I messed up that timeline's year.). I decided to up it one year because I guessed that after the events of CT, it would be at least a few months or something in the future, and also because Magus has been searching the rest of the world and gathering supplies & such.

The "REPORT NO." will simply be the chapter number. The "CODE" is the name of the entire story "MAGNESS", and the "CODE EX." is the chapter title. This first is called "Convalesce of Hope". The name is a play on Children of the Monkey Machine's revamp of Magus' Theme "Magus Decay of Hope". I decided not to stick with "Decay" seeing how in this chapter Magus isn't losing hope, but rather, gaining it (thus convalesce). I'm also pretty sure that "of" shouldn't be in the title...but whatever...

The rest of the CAP stuff is fairly irrelevent gibberish that's just there to fancy it up. Basically it's supposed to mean that the story is written down in some vast network (kinda like the internet) on the verge of failure (kinda like where the quote from my sig originates *wink wink*).

You'll probably notice that I almost never name anyone in my story. This will eventually change, although I don't think I'll call Magus by either Magus or Janus, but more probably Gil. There are loads of names that I semi-reference, such as the sorceress/wizard (Flea, duh), the Water Fortress (my similys Ocean Palace), wise men (the Gurus), the ornament/jewel (the pendent), i reference the Poyozo that you can talk to about fate in Enhansa, blue lights (Time Portals), The Destruction (the fall of Zeal, I didn't want to call it "the fall" because of the obvious reference to the fall of Guardia), his sister (Schala, duh), people set out to kill him (Glenn & Cyrus), freat flaming bastard/fiery demon (Lavos), ominously dark tower ruins (Black Omen), New Mountain (the mountain to the Black Omens south where the portal used to be that led to...uh, Gurdia Forrest 1000 AD?), Cave of Time (the cave in that mountain), the End (of time), his mother (Queen Zeal, duh again), before he combines the rib & heart he says something that was just a play on words of when he "summons" Lavos in his castle, the kid he fought in his castle (Crono, duh a third time, you guys don't need me to be telling you all this, do you?), the despicable frog (Glenn/Frog duh for the fourth time), i even managed to sneak in the word "zeal" yippy, and "and even died for her" (reference to the original timeline when he is killed by Lavos).

Other references outside of the Chrono series include MULTIPLE references to Stephen King's Dark Tower/Gunslinger series, including the door in Magus' dream, the hand the fish is eating, and taking bones as a magical artifact. These things were influenced by that great series (I suggest anyone interested in time/dimensional travel, good books, reading at all, etc to check them out. Even if you don't like regular King, you might, very easily like this stuff).

Now for the semi-biggy, the poem/rhyme that Zeal taught Schala & Janus.

The first stanza is all me baby...sorta. It is heavily influenced by or at least is a tribute to Dylan Thomas' great poem "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night". Check that shiz yo, it too is good.

The second stanza is actually influenced by Ayla's speech to the Chief of Laruba village about living and fighting. I thought it fit perfectly with the first stanza. The rest I just made up to make it a little longer really, and to add a few more light-hearted tones as to not make it sound like Zeal was scaring her children or something.

*definate/possible (whakky thought, no?) spoilers for the series*

Also, I plan on having Magus eventually run into/team up with a few other characters from either game, I'm not currently sure which though. I was thinking Lucca or Robo from CT and possibly a character or two (Harle maybe) from CC. I also plan on having HIM name Glenn from CC. I think I'll eventually either get Magus the Masamune, the Pendent, and/or some more Dreamstone for him to forge his own Red Scythe. I dunno...Check for my WIP thread some time soon (I'm gonna want some feedback on where Magus wakes up and who joins him here).

Oh, and pay no mind to that last line about the past and such (it's a play on that "if history is to change" line of his), I think that'll just be like "the end" or something in each of the chapters...or maybe I'll end each chapter with a different modified quote of his...

Oh, and what do you think of it so far? One bad part I've kinda noticed in just making this thread is that I'm sorta vague with a lot of stuff, but this is the style so far that I wish for the story to have...more stuff will be explained in fuller details later (another Dark Tower/Gunslinger tribute! haha)...I also make up a lot of history (but that's sorta the point of fanfics, isn't it?) for Magus and Zeal...

uh, after previewing, i noticed there's no center tag...also, on my comp, posts are all centered automatically, so I hope it looks readable on everyone elses ends...

edit: Thanks Zeality! I changed that date, man did I have it wrong! I also changed a few small words (nothing too big, unless you just want to read it again...haha), grammical errors, and inconsistancy errors (First it was Magus' Left, then his Right hand in the end, doh!). I think it should be all good now (outside of a few run-on and/or fragment sentences).

edit2: I changed the title (looks like I wasn't using it properly before). And seriously, is this readable? Can you see Tabs in it? I can't see them when it's posted...Can you? Whatever...I changed it so that there are spaces inbetween any indented places and double spaces between differing sections (or whatever).

I also made a few smallish changes (after looking at it so long while making later chapters, I had to do a little editing). Nothing so big as you might want to re-read it...but why not, eh? Note: I actually ended up repasting the WHOLE THING...Which may not seem like a lot...but I use Italics plenty...


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Magness, Chapters 1-4
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2004, 01:08:11 am »
I'm going to go grammar-nazi on it so that it is flawless in the eyes of the English god. Until then...

Excellent. Though I have glanced at various Magus fanfictions, this one certainly has caught my attention; the description of his psychological pain and the tainting of his psyche with regret combine well with the predominant scene of ice in this chapter. I pray that he doesn't end up in an asylum, or some other institution/crappy ending. For his own mother to approve of this quest from beyond the grave is a sign of much important and resolution in a story laden with tragedy and failure. Sweet.

By the way, if it is one year after 12,000 B.C., it would be 11,999 B.C., as B.C. counts down until 1; it is then transferred to A.D. 1, I believe. The founding of Guardia :)


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Magness, Chapters 1-4
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2004, 10:43:34 pm »
Okay, and now for the long-awaited (heh heh, by me at least) chpt 2 of Magness, entitled "The Halls of Vita". At first I thought of naming it Temporal Rehabilitation (can you guess why???), but decided it didn't fit/I could fit it some other time if I wanted. Plus, I wanted some people to understand more the "Vita" reference...

It's basically seems like filler though...Nothing exceptional happens "action"-wise (don't expect heavy action scenes from me, I don't think I'm that good at them, but there will of course be some). More plot and talking and a few names are even discussed! Neat-O! I rather enjoy working through this story very much so.

The main thing I was looking for was a Hunter S. Thompson quote (can you find it/even know who that is?), and I finally decided to Google it. It works quite well I think...

Also, I decided to seperate paragraphs w/a space and new sections w/two spaces.




   The etched door opened again, the blue swirl swallowed him, the crowds of unsuspecting, unnoticed people shifted back and forth between himself and his shimmering objective. His feet moved forward again, gaining no distance. Did he seem to know it was useless? He couldn’t think. He didn’t think. A gloved hand shot out again, his hand. His mouth opened, teeth bared in absolute anxiety, in desperation to speak, to plead, to yell, to scream.

   The words from the voice resonated into his mind again. Not the pleading, distressed, driving, despondent voice. The other one, the one that came from the heart, “Find your sister, my son.” Was it his mother’s voice? He couldn’t remember how it sounded. The bleeding (just now clotting) scrape on his temple seemed to cloud the past events in a neat shade of lifeless gray.

   He looked down and saw that the floor was a kind of steel plating. He was in some sort of man-made dwelling. By this simple piece of information, he knew he wasn’t in The Destruction of Zeal-time anymore. He wasn’t in The Guardia Mystic Conflict-time either it seemed; no, definitely not 600A.D. Both the Guardians and the Mystics would use some kind of granite or marble, some kind of stone at least, not the glistening metal he saw beneath him.

   The words registered and struck him square: ‘beneath him’. He was standing. His weapon and pack were not with him. The murky gray that bounded and dully pounded his mind had held these things from him. His left hand just as suddenly-seemingly to make up for the time his cloudy mind had hidden it from his sensory perception-burst into suffering, agonizing, flame. His teeth bore, wicked and sharp, and showed his pain. It was as if someone were lighting his hand on fire with a blazing torch. This pain departed almost as quickly as it had assaulted him. In its place came a softer version of the fiery pins and needles again, along with a softer scowl across his face.

   More aspects of the room and his condition came into focus. The room was a dull metal box; roughly thirty by twenty feet in diameter. There seemed to be a silhouette of a door, but no knob, no lever, no switch. He was in the future. He had seen similar doors before, when he had traveled with the boy. These doors weren’t locked with the Zealian seal though; they were the normal doors of the future that he thought would open if he could only stand in front of it. So he went to go to the door.

   Yet another facet of the new place occurred to him out of the blue. His arms, his legs, and his throat were each bound in an electrical device. To the backs of his limbs were metal boxes, each adorned with code pads and blinking lights. These metal boxes wrapped his extremities in a faint white light that seized him snugger then any metal cuffs could. The metal boxes were chained with a similar stream of light to a console to his right.

   He moved toward the console to see if he couldn’t try to set himself free. A spark of light struck his head as he collided with another stream of light. This one was more of a wall of light that blocked his approach to the console. The streams from the “cuffs” seamlessly drifted to and fro when he moved back and forth from the console, but when he approached the door; they constricted and would allow him to go no further.

   A panel lifted from the wall toward his right, on the wall beyond the console, revealing a concealed glass circular object. It looked like a gun. More so, it resembled the laser weapons of the heaping automaton that was with the boy when he traveled along with them. He darted to get out of the path of the ensuing stream of light that came from it.

   “You are being detained for further chrono-sequential analysis. You have violated Novous Ordo Seclorum Convention Temporal Codes 84-S13...” It was not a laser at all. When he looked back he saw it was not man-made Shadow Magic, but it was in fact a man. No, not truly a man, for a man does not radiate light in that manner, a man’s features are not so dull, nor are any mans form so eerily translucent. It was a hologram. It reminded him of the robot central core network. This one was much a more advanced form then the one he had seen previously though. The network he had seen required three separate interfaces to be projected as a corporal being. This one required what looked like only one.

   The hologram droned on, “...time travel under unspecified and unfounded means, 45-F06, possession of unidentified narcotic substances, 91-M03, possession of illegal and unregistered weapons, 09-C30, security breech in sector 770.907, and 06-C45, breaking and entering.”

   He had turned away from the shimmering figure at the second code violation declaration. The shadow cast by the hologram of his body was faint because of the rooms somewhat heavy lighting, but as soon as the hologram flickered off, the shadow disappeared, and the plate slid back over the hologram interface, he realized what he could do. The streams from the light-shackles moved freely between the barrier of light between him and the console. He let out a slight chuckle of amusement. It seems they truly were in need-dire need now he thought-of a “chrono-sequential analysis” of him, because they had underestimated him. Their world, their time, had forgotten, their documents didn’t show them, or it was even possible that they had rejected the absurdity of it, of...Magic.

   “Fools...Underestimate me will you...,” He whispered the words under his breath. The simple, apprentice-level, spell was chanted in mere seconds. He lifted his good, right, hand and the bolt of lightning flew past the wall of light with the fluidity of water and struck the console, burning, charring, and disrupting circuitry. The beams of light glimmered and died, the shackles fell off, and the door opened before his presence.

   His bad, left, hand still hung lifeless at his side, and it annoyed him. He did not know what sorts of mechanized monstrosities, holographic humans, or secret traps awaited him. He would want his hand back. More importantly, he would want his scythe and supplies back. His Amulet was stolen from him and he was angry for it.

   His clothes remained the same; they had left him with that much dignity at least. His plain leather vest still hugged him tightly, yet comfortably, a blue cloth was wrapped around the more flexible (and thusly more exposed to the cold) mid-section. His light plum-colored pants, with the inch-wide metal band wrapped around his right leg, disappeared into his shin-high, worn-in, soft-soled, leather boots. His forearm-length gloves (also leather) were the same, but he noticed that they had done a thorough search and found the small charms and medicines he had held within their inner pockets.

   The doorway from his waiting cell led into a dark and damp hallway. It stank of decay and must. The lengthy metal walls of the hall had gone grimy from time. There was no one waiting, nothing out there to get him, yet. He could see the halls end to the left of his cell door, so he went on down to his right.

   As he went on down the seemingly empty and lengthy hall, he came upon various cells similar to his own. The only exception being that no one occupied these rooms. The dankness of the place began to thin as he went, but it was still just as distinct. The hall took a slight curvature to the right. In a moment, extended by the emptiness, the vacant rooms, and the silence, he came to a small split in the hall. The right rounded sharply and looked like another long hall filled with a similar, albeit opposite, curve and empty cells.

   He took the other direction, which was more of a nexus forward of the two hallways’ points. The whole place seemed to be in the shape of an upside-down “Y”. Panels of light began to brighten and come to life, where further down the hall they were only flickering fireflies. This provided him with even less cover in the exposed and cramped corridor. As he went on, he wondered if the people who had captured him weren’t somehow watching him. Could it be that they were analyzing him even now?

   “You’re going to be found. You’re going to be killed.” The drifting, doubtful voice reminded him. He went on. Doors to either side of this hall contained only a miniscule amount of things. Many were simply more cells, others were a bigger mess hall, a meeting hall with a large metallic desk, and even a few toilets.

   The end finally struck him after a while with a door much larger then those he had previously seen. To him, it seemed like a double door version of the other doors. Instead of the door going up or down, this one went from left and right and joined in the middle. The right part of this door’s circuitry ceased to function properly; a crease of light came out from behind the door as it jerked back and forth spasmodically, rhythmically.

   He snuck up on the door with a silent grace that had taken him only days of boyhood curiosity to perfect. The room itself was poorly lit. The light that came from within originated from a large monitor in the very back of the room. Three shapes stood at different parts of the screen. A glare streaked itself across the monitor from a light out of sight to the left. The one directly in front was conversing with someone he couldn’t see.

   “‘There is insufficient data’ in regard to what exactly?” The middle person said in a barely audible raspy voice.

   “600A.D is a possible origin.” A voice (Did it seem familiar?) said that seemed to resonate from deep in the room, “There is insufficient data regarding the true origin of the subject in question.”

   “How is it only ‘a possible origin’?” The person on the right asked. Its voice seemed to cackle with static. He couldn’t hear any of their voices outside of the resonating voice very well, “A time traveler? Wouldn’t we have more on the subject if he were a time traveler?”

   “The subjects TDNA goes further back, closer to 12,000B.C.” The voice said, “This era is mostly unknown to us presently. Further information is required. Suggest a questioning of the subject immediately.”

   “You know we can’t do that.” The being to the right stated matter-of-factly.

   “Clotho is correct. It is a breach of Temporal Code to distribute information regarding future timelines, regardless of situation.” The person to the left announced. Its voice was more subdued, rather effeminate.

   “It is also is a breach of Temporal Code to keep temporal refugees.” The person in the middle said.

   “Detainment was necessary.” The right being countered, “Contravention of Temporal Code 09-C30, security breech in sector 770.907, is a high priority offence.”

   “Prometheus, do you still suggest questioning even with the added danger of further breaking Temporal Code?” The person identified as Clotho asked.

   “Questioning is necessary for further advancement in chrono-sequential analysis. The subject cannot be released otherwise regardless.” The voice said, “Further temporal disturbance is forbidden. If the subject is a traveler, it should have means of further travel, which it does not.”

   “Then we question.” The one on the right said. At that, each of them swiveled in unison, with a grace like only a ballerina could match. They each took quick, fluid, steps toward the door. They were firm and unwavering, yet time seemed to slow, to stop as they moved. Still they came, closer, and closer.

   Clotho led the way, hitting the jittering right door, causing it to open for the three of them. They stepped out into a long, but compact empty hall. Clotho and the one on the right stood side-by-side, which was the maximum allowable space, and the one on the left followed behind them.

   They weren’t human.

   Clotho raised a hand to stop their advancement after the door behind them closed. The moment before Clotho began to speak stretched out into an eternity. He took this time to properly examine these new adversaries. His closest thought was that they resembled the robotic ally that had accompanied himself and the boy; although these three had many obvious differences.

   For one, they seemed to have a more female anatomy to them; they were slimmer at the waists, wider at the breast, and they even had more pronounced-and functioning-lips. This too was more striking about them. They were obviously far more advanced than any automaton he had ever encountered previously. Their structure much more closely resembled that of a human, each with only a few exceptions of a robotic extension here or there.

   Clotho’s metal had a green tint, the one beside her a blue, and the one behind had an oddly pink hue. Their eyes glowed, or more accurately, twinkled, the same shade as their metal hides. Clotho opened her mouth to speak to the others, “Perhaps Prometheus is malfunctioning.”

   “What makes you say this?” The pink one said.

   “Should Prometheus suggest breaking Temporal Code, even if it is the only alternative?” The blue one said, backing up Clotho’s point.

   “Perhaps you two are malfunctioning.”

   “You are always so unquestioning of Prometheus, Atropos. Perhaps you are malfunctioning as well.” Clotho retorted.

   “And you and Lachesis are always so questioning of Prometheus. Perhaps we are all malfunctioning.”

   “Let us worry about Prometheus later.” Lachesis stated, “Questioning the subject is the only course of action we can take currently, malfunctioning or not.”

   “Agreed.” Atropos said.

   “Agreed.” Clotho said with a curt nod.

   They dragged on down the corridor, their soft-soled feet making only a whisper of sound as they went. After they were out of hearing range, his right arm buckled, he spat his lifeless left hand from his clenched teeth and he dropped down from the ceiling. A single bead of sweat traced down his cheek before he wiped it away. He had been up there no longer then two minutes, but it seemed like it was still going on. His right arm twitched and he flexed it, trying to get the blood flowing into it again.  

   “Prometheus...?” He wondered to himself, “Atropos?”

   He shook off the familiar names. He didn’t have time to sit and ponder. After they reached his cell, they’d realize he wasn’t there, and they would look for him. They would find him.

   He entered the shadowy room, completely enraptured in his element. The room was somehow more colorless and filled with even more melancholy then the halls and his cell had been. Aside from the main console that the three robots had occupied, a slightly askew lamplight shone off to the left, the source of the glare on the main screen. Every wall glittered with a full assortment of esoteric lights and dials and meters that he would never understand.

   Various shut doors stood, like poised guards watching his every movement, to his left and right, as he approached the main console. The glare gently subsided and he saw the recognizably and very familiar object on the screen. It was Prometheus, R66-Y. At least, it was its face. He lifted a brow at the sight.

   “Magus, I knew you would escape.” The hidden speakers announced.

   “Do not call me that.” He said plainly.

   “Shall I call you Janus then or perhaps ‘Prophet’?”

   “Neither.” He said abruptly, “How do you know who I am?”

   “I know because I am meant to know.”

   “Don’t give me that bullshit. How do you know?” He said angrily, even though he knew he didn’t have the time to be asking any questions.

   “Do not worry. They have been subdued. I locked them into your cell and overloaded a few of their primary circuits as soon as they entered.” The computer shifted focus as if reading his thoughts.

   “Why?” He was understandably mystified by these turn of events.

   “We are not allowed to keep or question you for one.”

   “And for another...?” He asked.

   “I am not allowed to disclose information on the events of 12,000B.C. Much less give out any information pertaining you in 600A.D.

   He gave this new information a quick dismissal and then said, “The Chrono Trigger.”


   “You know what I mean.” He said, shifting quick glances, this way and that, constantly aware that the doors to his left and right could hold any and all sort of devices that could eradicate him.

   “Ah, you are referring to the Time Egg! Of course, it must be what you seek.”

   “Tell me.” He said, on the brink of a command.

   “I am afraid any information I give you will not help. There has only been one stable Time Egg, and you witnessed its destruction.”

   “How is it possible that you know all of this?”

   “I have told you already.”

   “Of course, you were meant to know.” He said with a snarl, “Give me the information, I’ll decide if it’s helpful or not.”

   “If you insist...” The voice continued with something that resembled an electronic version of a sigh, “One Lucca Ashtear, circa 1025A.D. has been developing, unsuccessfully I might add, the means to travel to critical points in time via exponential temporal energy waves a.k.a. a Chrono Trigger.”

   “Now, tell me where my belongings are.” Before he could finish, one of the doors to his right whooshed upward, revealing his effects.

   “Take them away then. Possession of many of those artifacts is illegal, and Temporal Code would be enforced more strictly, if they weren’t so archaic.” The machine told him, “Might I suggest using a more concealable weapon? It is not as if you will always be in 600A.D. where people actually revered and feared the name of Magus.”

   “I might take it under consideration, but I am not Magus.” He said with distaste as he slung his pack around one shoulder, replaced various items, and held his scythe in his right hand. After doing this, he noted his left hand again, he’d need to treat it soon, but now wasn’t the time, “How do I get out of here?”

   Another door, this one to the left, opened, “There is a Temporal Displacement System within. I’m afraid that too is against Temporal Code to use though.”

   “I’m going to use it anyway.”

   “Yes, I am aware of that.”

   “Then why are you telling me all of this?”

   “I am helping you because I am supposed to. It is my purpose.” Prometheus stated, “I must tell you also about the Temporal Code violations because they will be used against you afterwards.”

   “Afterwards, after what...?”

   “After the Temporal Code Enforcers find out about all of this...” Prometheus said solemnly, “...After that, a full investigation will be held. My circuitry will be dissected and I will be permanently shut down. Of course, all data I am meant to conceal will remain so, though I am not able to conceal that which Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos have currently discerned.”

   “No, you said that they would be used against me.” He said a bit agitated.

   “Oh, of course, you wish to know the implications regarding you. During the investigation, they will find out that you have used the TDS, and they will find your whereabouts. They will try and detain you for questioning at any and all costs.”

   “Why would I be so important to them?”

   “Well, your code violations aside, you are a temporal disturbance, and as an anomaly, you are only growing as you go further in time.”

   “Looks like I’ll be hunted then.”

   “You will have become priority number one.”

   “Wait, won’t they be able to track me down to this time, right now?” He asked frantically.

   “Most certainly not, it is impossible, not only for the numerous paradoxes in time it would cause. It is one of the highest priority Temporal Codes not to cause any undue paradoxes by changing things that would affect you from doing so in the first place.”

   “But I’ve already done so...”

   “You were traveling under different means then. Time has changed.”

   “Different means? Do you mean the Entity? What do you know about all of this?”

   “I am afraid time has run out and it is time for you to go. Find Miss Ashtear. Give her my regards.” The speakers let out a sound that seemed like a faint laugh, “Of course, I do not expect you to actually do that.”

   He gave an annoyed unsatisfied look downward and proceeded toward the door to the left. The path was opening before him, but there were so many unfulfilled questions he knew would come about later. Would he find her so easily?

   “Goodbye traveler of time, man of many names.” Prometheus’ voice faded as the door closed behind him. The device’s settings showed 1025A.D. There was no specific date. He wondered when in that year he would end up. Would they still know when he was? Would they be able to travel to the time he popped up in 1025 or would time go forward like it did before, and they wouldn’t be able to pinpoint his exact location in 1025? Again, there was no more time.

   He stepped up onto the platform, and the energy transfer began almost immediately. He got only the briefest hint of a glance at the cautionary notification just above the machine’s main console:

Designed For Operation by Vita Hardware Only
Prometheus Supervision Required
Separate System Needed For Use with Non-Robotics

   An irritated look started on his face before time was torn. It was not the pleasant deep ocean blue of any of the previous time portals he had been through. The world cracked away immediately and was replaced with a dull electric yellow filled with sparks and bolts of blackness. In fact, it even felt entirely different. Instead of that fleeting instant feeling of traveling without moving, it was more like a ripping, splitting sensation, followed with lavish amounts of pain and agony. Time and space were being physically and unnaturally split open like a gapping knife wound. It was extraordinary.

   His eyes became small pin-pricks as he was enveloped in the torture and the hurt of it all. His right fist clenched deeply at his scythe, nearly crushing it. Energy surged through his left, giving it new life, and just as instantly, new anguish. The nails of his left hand’s fingers bore through the leather of his glove, through his skin, and fresh blood blotted his hand.

   A very base part-somewhere in the back perhaps-of his brain thought that soon enough the pain would subdue, if not because it would actually stop, then because his nerves would dull and it would have to reseed. That part of his brain was quickly proven wrong. Seconds floated. Minutes crawled. Hours dwindled. Whole days were rising and dying in this endless cycle of pain. His brain did not shut down because of the pain. The pain kept him awake. It kept him going. Centuries and eras passed before his sightless, unseeing eyes in a kaleidoscope of yellow and black like an old carousel on its last legs, somehow deliberate, unhurried, and leisurely in its circles. Around and around it went.

   If he saw the robot-any robot for that matter-or whatever was possessed with the Prometheus circuitry next, he would obliterate it with great vengeance and furious anger. Yes, all robots must go. He could not think these thoughts presently, but they would be the first thoughts that would drift in the back of his head after he came out and the pain started to fade away. That did not come for what seemed like an eternity, a lifetime, forever.

...But I was another person then...

Okay, so wad ya think? Kinda dull, huh? Oh well...I don't know WHEN it's going to pick up either...I'll probably have him fight next chpt sometime...Although I'm not sure...There's tons of references to the series so far, and if you'll note, Prometheus knows nothing that transpired in Cross, as he states there has only been ONE successful Time Egg (the one in CT). Yet, there's still a lot of Cross references none-the-less.

I also ended it with another Magus quote...I like it, and it ties in w/what he was talking about w/Prometheus about not wanting him to call him Magus. I might do quotes from different people or whatever as the story unfolds, it all depends on if I can find anything by Magus that fits or not...

Man it takes forever to format these damn things to have Forum-friendly tags...Argh! Oh well, I'm a few pages into the 3rd chpt, expect a WIP thread for it soon! Maybe even right after I post this...

edit: I decided to completely retool this chapter as well, even though I'm not sure if I changed anything from the time I first posted this chapter and now...But whatever! I hope you all enjoy the later chapters! These first couple just help set things up! PROMISE!


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Magness, Chapters 1-4
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2004, 07:07:58 am »
Okay! So currently I've written up to the 8th Chapter...I'm probably only going to post 1-6 right now though...I've still got a lot of editing and such to do with the last two chapters I've written so far...I think I'll give each chapter it's own post so I can go over them each properly and so it doesn't read too cluttered...This, Chapter 3, is titled "Dying Full Moon"...enjoy!




   Lucca Ashtear was in her late thirties. She had hit the middle of the road. From there on, she couldn’t classify herself as living any more. From there on, it was only a downward spiral of decay and eventual senility. Her peak had been hit well over ten years ago. Her research continually hit snags now that she could neither fix nor undo. Her once striking pink hair, which from afar and in the wrong lighting sometimes seemed brown, was now thinning and white sprouts were forming. She was dying.

   Her legacy was no longer her science or her own, now ephemeral, brilliance. She had never had children. She had never had a partner with which to have any to start with. Her early years were spent formulating and adventuring. That isn’t to say children were never or weren’t a big part of her life though. She had started an orphanage no more then twenty years past. It had started with the last child to enter a gate; with her, with Kid.

   She had gone away on her own quest as she grew and matured. Often times Lucca would wonder and reminisce about Kid, her “Little Sister”. Was she doing alright? Of course she was she would tell herself. It was her after all. What was she doing? Where was she? When was she? Her amulet could have taken her to countless worlds. Or could it have? There were no more gates she would remind herself, she had made sure of it. Or were there? Obviously something was meant for Kid. She could feel it again, stirring, rising from its sleep.

   Lucca wished she could have gone with her, but it wasn’t her time anymore, she knew that, Kid knew that. Nothing was said. She left one chilly summer night. No good byes, no hugs or kisses, no tears. Just a sorrowful note filled with innuendos of unknown fates and burning fires of fervor that needed, no, demanded satisfaction. It was the sort of letter she too would have left her mother if her own adventure had called for it.

   Yet, still, she shed no tears for her. Tears would be admitting something. It would be like saying out loud that Kid was no longer just a kid, she was grown and was facing similar perils. It would mean that she believed that Kid could be dead. Kid was tougher then that. Kid was stronger then anyone she had ever seen. Although she sacrificed her femininity to accomplish this, that tomboy part of her was just another part of what made Kid unique.

   Fortunately (or not), the orphanage still kept her busy most of the time. A few years back (Kid had yet to leave, she remembered), the whole place had almost been burnt down when a few components of circuitry in her room had overloaded. Luckily she was there and her Ice Gun put the flames out quickly. She had cursed herself for her carelessness, although upon further investigation, it seemed as though she had taken every necessary precaution. She didn’t need such added distress, so she had a laboratory extension built onto the back of the house to keep the children safe.

   There was always a fresh face every month or so in from Porre or the farming sections of Truce. The children were always there. She enjoyed the consistency of it all. It was all so neatly ordered and yet so overly chaotic at the same time. She felt very content with her current life outside of her own diminishing scientific achievements. Adventuring was a part of her past that she told the children like fairytales. The older ones could not find it within themselves to believe her stories, but nonetheless they did not question her. She was their Big Sis’. If she said it happened, then it must have. Her world was moving on.

   It was night when he arrived. At least, it was night when his consciousness arrived. He felt enormous waves of self smashing, breaking, into his body long after his corporal body stood there beside an immense evergreen tree. He had only seconds to raise his arms to meet the ground after the waves smashed into him. It didn’t help much.

   He hit the firm, damp earth with a thud. The air was clean, pure, unadulterated. It was quite a quick distinction from the dank stench of that metallic future. He hoped his being in the past again would upset that future and cause it never to exist.

   A sudden occurrence came to his attention. His left hand was working again. He was filled with new, invigorating power. He was refreshed, revitalized. The time spent in the time rift jolted his power somewhat, he was tiptop again. The pain of the travel was now somewhat lost unto him. The breezy cool night, with the lofty full moon gazing above, casting all its many shadows and darkness felt good. He could sense watchful, hunting eyes assessing him from the surrounding trees. He was deep in a rich and fertile forest.

   “Could it be?” He said aloud to the memory laden forest. Another wave of self struck him abruptly and surprisingly. He had already felt whole. He dropped to one knee.

   A maniacal laugh broke through the empty sounds of the forest floor. It was his laughter and yet it was not. His legs quaked as they struggled to lift him back up. His scythe fell to his side. Fists clenched into solid bricks.

   His hands hammered at his ribs wildly, possessed. Not his hands, but doubles of his hands, mirrors of his hands, ghost images of his hands that would not listen to his commands. One struck him square in the jaw and sent him reeling backwards into the base of the tree. He staggered and tried to gain his bearings. With a fierce and intense concentration he began to fight the ghost images back with his mind. They persisted for a moment, relented, and then the sound and feeling of a great gusting wind past him and through the surrounding foliage. The mad laughter echoed and finally faded throughout the woods.  

   “What the hell was that?” He said aloud, spitting at the ground and noting the small spot of blood in it. More surprises, more annoyance. He snarled at the situation, but the vibrations of the forest had already calmed down, whatever it was had passed. He moved to and picked up his scythe, examining it momentarily. It was a long weapon, just over his height, and it had a long curved blade as well, “It is unnecessarily conspicuous...”

   Soft-toned ancient words elegantly floated out of his mouth as his hand and the scythe began to glow minutely. With a quick movement, he struck the handle in two places, cutting it clean as a knife through warm butter. He grasped the end opposite the blade, which held a fairly long metal spike, and whipped it through the air a good dozen times. Each time, the shimmering spike would form a curved blade at one side that would grow and lengthen with the momentum. He ended up with two uniquely matched twin sickles.

   He nodded to himself with the slight and justified satisfaction like he would have as a child when he would finish a drawing or just when sitting in front of a fire and petting his kitten. Taking the sickles, he latched them to the middle of his back in a neat “X” and into a loop of the blue cloth around his waist. Another small spell stuck them in place.

   He would still need to replace his cape to properly conceal them he thought. If this forest was what he thought it was, if he was where he thought he was, then the Ashtear family must be a ways to the north.

   What would she do when she saw him? He was never friendly with any of them really, even her. She was smart, but she was also just as foolish. But he was one of them too, in the end, wasn’t he? He continued to stalk out of the forest, keeping an ever watchful on everything, fully aware of the scrutinizing eye of the forest.

   There was something missing, was it something important? He didn’t feel the same. Why would he think about Lucca and the others? Why would he place himself in their company outside of to complete his undertaking? Simply put, he was lonely. No, not lonely. How could he be? Were not Slash and Flea his former companions to some degree? No, he thought, they were tools just like all the others. So was that despicable and loathsome Ozzie. Just the thought of his bulbous green and flaking skin made his stomach churn.

   There it was again, why would he feel the need for Slash and Flea to be his former “companions”? It must have something to do with that ghost, no, not a ghost, something else. Lucca would have given it a long fancy name-Temporal Apparition of Irrefutable Subconscious Development & Severance. But what did all that mean? What part of him left him then? Or was it a new part? Something wholly different from him and yet, completely like him. He didn’t know. He didn’t want to stop to think about it further.

   “Think of her, damn it.” He thought to himself, carefully darting to and from the backs of remarkably mossy trees. He felt as though, if he wanted, he could just pick one of the trees up in both of his arms and toss it aside. They seemed so spongy and soft, even on the sections without as much of the lush, bottle green moss, “You need to focus damn it. I cannot be defeated.”

   It was going to be a long trek before he actually got to his destination. First was this forest, then came the bridge, and then he’d have to cut around Guardia & Truce down to the bridge to Ashtear Island. It would test his skills as well as his nerves he knew. That’s what it always came down to in the end.

   He imagined here, in the kid’s future, the Mystics were even more the embittered, loathsomely sad, and far worse, defeated bunch. He could see the dying race of Mystics joining the Humans and relations mending where once pure hatred and resentment stirred at the mere mention of the other race. And unsurprisingly enough, his thoughts weren’t far from the truth.

   In the South, Porre was creating a faction with the Mystic Village by way of ferry transportation. Mystics and Humans had been uneasily migrating in-between the two towns for the past twenty years or so. Commerce was up, tourism for both was at an all-time high, and people were learning new things from each culture. It was an amazing time in history. He would hate it all if he actually knew.

   The thought of co-existence had never been a thought in his mind before. The Humans just didn’t deserve it and almost everyone knew it in the start. It was Mystic territory from the beginning, all of Guardia & Truce. It was theirs before they were driven out like so many others had been before them and a multitude would be after. It was the cycle of the world. All he had done was pick the justified side to fight for. He had seen a vast majority of the dawn of the war, more then anybody really wanted to, and in the end, he didn’t really care for either side. It was all so frivolous to him anyhow.

   Change was coming; The Wind was blowing strong again. He took the Amulet from his sack and looked at it for what must have been the millionth time since the separation. It brought back burnt red memories of his life, embers of a past slowly turning to fragile ash. His sister Schala, his only friend Alfador, his mother-the Queen, his father-the King, the false Queen that took his mothers place, the Mystics, the Humans, the War, that stupid gutless frog, the bullheaded order-driven knight, the kid & his friends, those enlightened “gurus”.

   It was a flood; hundreds of names blurred and etched into his memory. Not even a handful of them were even his acquaintances. Only a couple he would call his friends. He was born the solitary life of the noble. Although he hadn’t lived his productive years that way though. Those years had been hard and merciless in their training for him to be more effective in achieving his one, ultimate, goal in life. He was taken and he was hardened to long smelted steel. A warrior became of him, a wizard, a lone wolf, chasing the moon.

   Nameless faces coming and going in and out of his life in a seemingly limitless cycle of pain and suffering. Was there an end to be had of all this? He had a reason, yes, but what of the rest of it? He walked on swiftly in his present, knowing his past, and foreseeing his cloudy future. What was he willing to do? What was he willing to give up?

   Strange thoughts on this pale summer’s night in Fiona’s Forest...

   It was a nice place, she thought. Not quite the grandiose “temple” she had been told of. It was a simple cathedral-like building. High architecture and flying buttresses with heavenly and obvious religious over-tones, all well maintained white and wooden décor. The sounds of a wolf's howling came in from afar in the darkened night. What she was looking for though, wasn’t here. She didn’t necessarily expect it to be. She had recently begun losing hope.

   Her long lemon-blonde hair was wrapped up on her head in covered buns at each side. The candle-light at the head of the chapel flickered in her curiously attentive azure-colored eyes. She watched the nuns go about their daily chores, so neat, so orderly and routine, like all of them she’d ever seen. She would stop and pray at each “temple” she found, but it seemed like the whole world was deteriorating before her. Not just society as a whole, but nature as well. Something was swelling up in the world deep down, she could feel it.

   She sighed soft, but long. She was all of fourteen now and she still hadn’t found what she was looking for. So much had been given up just at the beginning and so little had changed. Another, smaller, sigh escaped her as she picked up an unlit candle with her left hand and dipped its wick into the flame of another.

   “Not many travelers, ‘specially not ones so young, in this part anymore.” One of the nuns said to her, coming up from behind her right side, “These candles are lit mainly by we nuns here now. In some ways it’s good to know that no one’s in need of ‘em, but in other ways, we see it as people simply losing faith.”

   She held the lit candle in her small, clutching left hand. A tear almost escaped her.

   “I’m so sorry, I should not be intruding.” The nun turned to leave.

   “It’s for my brother.” She said rather unexpectedly. She had never shared anything with any of the previous inquisitive nuns or church-hands. But they had been less elusive about it; they had asked it flat out, “I’m looking for him.”

   “I’m sorry. To lose a sibling is a hard thing to do.”

   “Where is God for these times good sister?” She said looking down into the flame’s white eye. A bead of wax formed and trickled its way down to kiss her hand.

   “God is always there, within us all. His plans are not always for us to understand.” The sister took on a look of mixed shame and anguish at a buried memory suddenly surfacing again and she grasped for her subtle mask of happiness and relentless joy, “Sadly, everything that has form must eventually fade away...Such is life.”

   She smiled, looking back at the nun and was about to say something along the lines of, “Are you nuns always so depressing?” This smile was immediately wiped clean from her face. A look of mute dread replaced it and the only words that managed to escape her mouth were, “Oh, my God!

   The intricate stain glass windows shattered easily, like so many soft eggs smashed into hard brick walls. The large oaken door began to creak, cringe and splinter with the outside weight being forced upon it. Large wolfs heads protruded from the now windowless openings. There were easily a dozen, but they saw hundreds.

   He counted fifteen; a very large pack. They made their move towards the openings. Should he intervene? He didn’t have any reason to. At least, he didn’t think so. These problems with time were kind of confusing. Was he being manipulated to help this cathedral? No, too far-fetched.

   But he was a long way from the nearest town, named Porre, which he was going to avoid and it was out of his way anyways. This chapel was a regular rest stop for people going to and from Guardia & Truce and Porre. It was also where they had reunited with the old Prometheus chip, which had at the time inhabited the circuit-driven iron hide known as Robo a.k.a., R66-Y.

   It seemed almost too right for him to do. He stood there, in the total darkness of the tree up until the first of the wolfs managed to break in. Then he started his spell.

   The wolfs just piled on top of each other, not caring for the ones beneath. The first wolfs to smash the windows were also the first wolfs to be trampled over to get inside. They were the first wolfs to have their innards meet the sharp glass still spearing out from the bottom framework of the windows. They jerked and convulsed under the pressure of the others.

   Wolfs don’t need to be careful though. It’s not hardwired into their nature to be so because they heal rapidly, especially so during the full moon. No one really knows any good ways to get rid of them. They’re unstoppable.

   “C’mon then!” she said, taunting the wolfs. This was going to be the final battle. Here, in this chapel, with the nuns cowering behind in the main area and wolfs bearing down on her. If it was to come down to this, then she’d have to give it her all. Nothing so far had gotten her down-except time-and nothing was going to keep her down. She absorbed the moment in a heartbeat and became one with her emotions, “I won’t be stopped here, so soon (outside of this moment, the words would have resounded in her mind with a dull aching) in my search. I hate you and you will die.”

   The pleats of her light colored skirt flittered behind as she swooped through the numerous aisles of pews. The flames of the candle lighting around the cathedral glittered and glimmered on the face of the heavily polished small iron shield covering her left forearm. The sight stopped those wolfs who had begun to climb in over the bodies of the first wolfs for just a moment. A loud burst of a howl escaped each of the wolfs large gaping mouths. Bubbly, rabid saliva drooled out as they stared down the young girl with a horrible hunger in their eyes.

   “Miss, you mustn’t! There’s nothing you can do!” The nun she had spoken to pleaded from the back of the room.

   “Die fighting good sis’.” She replied, not turning, lifting her smallish gloved hands, clenched in fists. Three thick denadorite spikes stuck out of the middles of each gloved knuckle, “Die fighting...”

   Wolfs leapt with claws bore. Fists blurred, pews shattered, blood sprayed and two wolfs were knocked down, but not out. They each were limping off to the side in-between shards of wood that used to be long benches. Both had their faces turned into a mess of concaved bloody and broken bones.

   She was drenched in their blood: her face, her fists & her hair, the armor covering of her dress, her pleated skirt, and even a multitude of tiny spatters down her legs. A film of dark red wolfs blood. Her shield took a little beating, but was still in good condition. She readied it, holding it up along with her other fist.

   There was no more shimmering, no more glimmer, no shine, no glitter, no more heavily polished sparkling dances, just blood, until it hit.

   An inferno of flickering flames scorched all the wolfs from the outside. Hideous screeches of pain echoed in the forest night. Bursts of great scarlet fire bubbled in through the windows and singed the hair of the two standing, bewildered wolfs. A man crashed through the remaining smoldering glass of the middle window, no, not just crashed, but he seemed to fly.

   The shimmer was back. Though it wasn’t held within any of the girls objects, not even her eyes so much as twinkled. The candles had blown out with the explosion of flame coming from the outside. Moonlight poured in through the various newly made openings. It wasn’t the moonlight either though. They glowed with a power of their own. Two brightly radiant new moons, one each held at attention in his hands.

   The wolfs had never seen anything like it. The girl had never seen anything like it. Not even the nuns in the back knew what was really happening. It was some kind of skill, but it was the kind of ancient or newly discovered skill none of them had ever seen. The two wolfs that had ducked out earlier had now revived and were standing at the other wolfs sides. None of the other wolfs moved; they were burnt and dead.

   “Howwwwwww?” One of them bellowed and the word transformed into a long angry howl. The girl was too stunned to move, the nuns had been already, far before her. Two wolfs pounced at him. Flickers of the glowing light traced patterns into their skulls, their arms, and up their torsos. They toppled over quickly in a heap of mangled flesh and severed intestine.

   “Magically endowed mythril.” the man replied as if it were the simplest and most obvious thing in the world. The sickles weren’t tarnished at all, in fact, they seemed to pulsate and grow brighter. How else do you take care of wolfs? He thought numbly to himself.

   The last two looked at each other and began leaping over pews and throwing them back wildly at the entrance, at the man. He ducked and dodged their vain attempts to stop him.

   “Stop, or the sister diessss.” One of the wolfs said. Its voice was slithering into that of a snake. It was regressing. A great clawed hand was stuck at the sister’s throat. Big wolf eyes bulged with intensity as it struggled with its form, finally getting it back under control. Each wolf held a nun in a similar manner. Beads of blood began at the sisters necks, tears flowed down their cheeks like waterfalls, and their hands were clasped together in prayer.

   He almost smiled at the attempt to persuade him to let them live by threatening the life of another. One he did not know and did not care about. Who did these silly wolfs think he was. Of course, even in his former life, he had to cut the wolfs down to size for their sheer stupidity. History, it seems, was repeating itself once again. What a fool he was to think of defying it.

   The lone girl, dripping with blood stood trembling between him and the wolfs. He moved swiftly past her. Much too swiftly, faster then a man could move. He was somewhere behind her in a dark flash, an instant. His eyes flared and they saw the death awaiting them there.

   His arms rose, as if pleading for them to stop. The hands were empty, his gaze was hard brutal cold. The wolfs eyes rolled up into their heads. The great silver of the mythril sickles still glowed ever brighter and pulsated, spiking out, one each, of their foreheads.

   Crimson smears of blood and gristly bits of brains spattered both nuns from behind, each shining spike of the sickles coming within an inch of their faces. He had made no attempt to spare them, it was just how the cards were dealt, how the darts landed, how the sickles cut.
   How ironic that, having been drawn into yet another portal, I would end up...

Okie doke! Is anyone even reading this anymore? Whatever...I don't want to talk about this one too much, as the next few chapters help explain more than I could (and I don't want to give away too much). In the beginning I didn't have plans for any goings on in any church or any sort of "Wolfs", but I was inspired slightly by Stephen King's Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla & The Talisman to do something about wolves of some kind.

At first he was going to get straight to Zenan Bridge and there were also different names for the chapter as well...I put together these "Cut Documents" and I'll unveil them now...Most are just sections I started to write but then thought better of...I have also included explainations as to why they weren't used...And why they were used in the first place (if there was reason behind them).

<~*CUT DOCUMENT NO. 0.1 ORIGIN: 3rd REPORT: DYING FULL MOON - This was the original idea for the title of the third REPORT. In the beginning, it was just the first part, which plays both on Lucca’s whole name and the similarly named villain in a game I’ve never played: Suikoden (1, 2 or 3?), but with the addition of the second sequence in the REPORT, it needed to have an extended title, so the backslash was used and a second title was added to cover that part. After this, I decided the first part was too apparent and also I figured if I really wanted, I might be able to fit that somewhere else. The second part simply did not explain or go over any of the second sequence besides the fact that it takes place in the forest, so I scrapped that idea. The original idea for the last word was, “Suite” but my comp wouldn’t recognize it for what I was intending, and I didn’t end up wanting to look it up, I still, as I write this, don’t know if I’m thinking of the right word there. It was supposed to be a throwback to one of Mog’s Dances from FFVI.*~>


<~*CUT DOCUMENT NO. 0.3 ORIGIN: 3rd REPORT: DYING FULL MOON – This was the second title idea for the third REPORT. It kept the two-part title configuration idea, which I ended up scrapping in the end. In the first part, words are simply mish-mashed and made differently after listening to Children of the Monkey Machine’s “Cid Solace Simplicity”. I didn’t really like the sound or the connections to FFVII for that matter, and decided to scrap that as well. The second part was a play on the Phantom Forest from FFVI and also a hint at the “spiritual separation” in that REPORT. In the end, it simply didn’t cover all the bases like I wanted the title to do, so I ended up thinking over things more and tried to find a title that suited both sections on the whole.*~>


<~*CUT DOCUMENT NO. 0.5 ORIGIN: 3rd REPORT: DYING FULL MOON - This was actually the original idea for CUT DOCUMENT 1.0 (see; next) as of who the sneaky stranger was going to be. After just this much was written, I decided I didn’t like it and I just didn’t have anywhere new to go with it, so I went with the other femme thief of CC, Mel...which also turned out the same way really...Unsurprisingly enough...I like the part in this though where Gil realizes that he’s found her...But it’s not really...*~>

   The voice was wrong. It was just a girl, no, not just a girl, the girl. It was his sister. It was Schala. His eyes widened to windows. He was genuinely stunned, surprised.

   “Oy! Such a dark figure of a thief watchin the game.” She said, her voice thickly veiled with a strange and foreign accent that reminded him of the frog somewhat, “You’re too far away to get anything good y’know?”

   No, it was not her, definitely not her. It looked like her though, just a bit.

<~*CUT DOCUMENT NO. 1.0 ORIGIN: 3rd REPORT: DYING FULL MOON - Wasn’t used because he had to go through the forest more, and such an annoying CC character (Mel) should not have been seen so soon, especially with such little added purpose. The memories of Ozzie and the Mystic War references didn’t fit either. It wasn’t the right time to be thinking about that stuff right then, it seemed like the “Shadow Emotion” (or whatever) was causing too much change in him much too soon. Some parts were kept, as you can now read (in next chapter mostly), but everything was actually re-written from scratch. Other parts have been completely forgotten or put away for a later time.*~>

   The bridge-Zenan Bridge, a large sign off to the side proclaimed-was filled with people. It seemed as though another festival was taking place somewhere in Guardia. Merchants, children holding parents’ hands, couples spattered throughout, an old man & woman together that for some reason reminded him of his old teachers from long ago, and he even spotted two or three pick-pockets roaming about.

   He didn’t like 1000A.D. and it looked like 1025A.D. wasn’t going to be much better. Here the Mystics were an embittered, sad, loathsome and, much worse, defeated, bunch. Here, the Mystics were planning to join the Humans. Relations were coming together where once pure hatred and resentment stirred at the mere mention of the others’ name. He was never fond of the Mystics himself, but the Humans were definitely much worse, or at least, to him. They razed the land, cut the forests, and they struck first.

   Of course, this is what he was always told. Ozzie had told him first of course. But truly it was all the Mystics believed, not just the overly delusional Ozzie. Once he had even gone to the Human’s, mingled within their circles, and learned their secrets. They were frightened and scared and, much worse, weak.

   They feared the Mystics as he only ever knew three old men being afraid of anything. They were cowering and using ditch attempt tactics. They were fighting a noble but losing cause. He could only laugh at their misery. These were the remnants of the great “Zeal Kingdom” he would think as he was younger. It fueled him, drove his hatred for his mother, and melded him. He had purpose. He had power. He waited.



   Someone to his left, being unintentionally noisy, trying-but failing-to sneak up without being heard.

   “It’s one of the pick-pockets come to gut you for your bag for being so far away from the street.” The voice rang in his head, forcing a trickle of sweat to form at his brow. He remembered he still had a clotted wound there.

   “Hush up!” He commanded the voice with his mind.

   “No, it’s one of those automatons come to blast you away from all existence.” The voice cackled out a choking sound of laughter. He ignored it and reached back for a sickle with his right hand, “Or possibly one of those ‘Temporal Code Enforcers’ that Prometheus was talking about.” Another choking cackle as he gripped the handle of the sickle.

   The voice was wrong. It was just a young teenage girl. The sickle zipped back and clamped behind the other. Her long sharp scarlet hair was tied into two big braids that rested on her back. The emerald in her eyes contrasted it greatly. She wore short shorts and a tube top, both things he knew nothing about. He was still dumbfounded by the world’s downward spiral in fashion and dignity.

   The weapon flashed past him suddenly and unexpectedly. He had only seconds to duck back, dodging it just barely as he heard the whizzing of the blade cutting the air an inch from his face. Something else though, at his back? Shifting, moving, something was…Stolen! The weapon flashed into the trees and circled back from high in the sky, moving towards the girl, now running towards the bridge herself. He didn’t look through his things. He could see plainly enough what she had stolen. She made no attempt to conceal it from him: his Amulet.

   Sudden anger swelled within him.

The next "CUT DOCUMENT" doesn't come until Chapter 8...So it's safe to say I learned my lesson about certain things from this Chapter...


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Magness, Chapters 1-4
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2004, 07:47:16 am »
Okay...I'm kind of tired now, so I think this will actually be the last of the night...I really should do up to 6 though because I think they decline in length up until the 7th (where it jumps back up)...But...I want to get into the Encyclopedia some I think...So...Here's the 4th Chapter entitled "Exchanged Names" (guess why and I'll give you a cookie).




   The little fire cast many shadows in the late of the night. Its flame seemed to switch from blue to green and back again very faintly, going almost unnoticed. The shadows filled his face, consumed his form. She wondered a lot about him, but none of the questions she had came to her. Ones that did didn’t seem appropriate. She didn’t know what kinds of questions were appropriate at this time. What could she say? How would she have to say it?

   “Where are you headed?” He asked her, popping her thought balloon and snapping her back into the moment.

   She had stood there, just as stunned (and bloody) as the nuns. With his hands still up, he walked toward the impaled wolfs’ bodies. With a small flick of his wrists, the two sickles were back in his hands, and, just as quickly, behind him, at the small of his back. They still pulsated, but the light was fading, dying out. It was still very much dark out, but the moon had begun to set.

   His right hand raised and the candles of the little church sprung to life again, as if nothing had happened. The only difference was that there were now two more candles lit for mourning and, of course, the broken windows and the door, bursting inwards. He assessed the church, the damage, the lone standing pedestal of holy water near the entrance, the large pipe-organ in the corner, the nuns, the bodies, and lastly, the girl. What was the point? He could only think that this ultimately changed the future and that made him somewhat pleased.

   He turned and went for the door. There was nothing for him there.

   “Wait!” The girl asked in what she thought was a shout, but as it turned out was more of a heavy squeak. He didn’t turn and he didn’t stop.

   “It’s dark. This church has lost its appeal as a place of safe haven.” He said, opening the door and before stepping out, he paused, “I must set up a camp and make a fire.”

   She must have stood there, dumbfounded at the entire sequence of events of the past ten or twenty minutes before actually doing anything. The nuns were shifting now, finally getting their bearings. Two of them wandered into a back room that was added on five years ago when traffic was at its peak. One collapsed to her knees before getting there, the other fell face first onto one of the beds. The other two wondered and pondered over the bodies of the wolfs. How would they get rid of so many bodies? Who did they report this to? And more importantly: what role did God have in this and what purpose could it have? Was that man their heavenly savior, or something else; something far more sinister?

   She bolted to the door, at the last minute, stopping at the pedestal of holy water to splash and scrub off some of the blood. Her skirt remained stained and flecks of dried blood still entangled her hair. She opened the door quickly. In came the dead body of a large wolf, thudding dully on the hard floor of the inner church. She jumped back in natural response before stepping over it warily, cautiously.

   No backward glances at the distraught nuns or the face of the church lying in rubble. She had a singular goal. This man could help her. This man had the answers. She knew it instinctively and without question. This man would help finish her quest. There was no doubt and she was right.

   “W-what?” She said, suddenly back in the present, getting used to her own tongue all over again. He seemed annoyed, but went on anyways.

   “I said, ‘where are you headed?’.”

   “Oh! Yes, right, I’m...” She thought about apologizing, but it didn’t seem right, it wasn’t what he wanted. She got the feeling that an apology would just make him more annoyed, “I’m heading to the festival.”

   “The-the Millennial Fair?” He wondered where in time Prometheus had truly sent him.

   “No, of course not. Why would you think that?” She asked. She was too young-she was only four at the time-to remember the Millennial Fair of Truce, and she hadn’t been around fairs much in her youth, “I’m headed to the United Festival.”

   “United Festival?” He asked. His stomach was already churning. The Millennial Fair had been a test of wills for him to endure before; another such experience would be too much to bear, “For what occasion is this ‘United Festival’ being held?”

   She looked at him inquisitively for the briefest moment before answering, “The factions of Guardia, Porre, & the Mystics of course.”

   “Of course...” He said.

   “Although I’m not going to enjoy the festivities...”

   “Oh?” He didn’t know if he wanted to know, but he decided to humor the girl for giving him information that may prove valuable in the future, “Then why are you going?”

   “I’m looking for my brother.” She said looking deep into the fire. His brow line rose at this. It was too coincidental, too similar, and too obvious. He too looked into the flame which he had created magically moments before. Before the girl had come up and propped herself at the opposing end of the fire sitting cross-legged. He knew she would come. He saw it with the eye of The Wind.

   “You truly hope to find your brother there?” He said, almost with a mask of condescension.

   “Yes, it’s a large grouping of many people. It’s my best hope for finding him...or someone who knows how to find him...” She said. He looked into her great sparkling sapphire eyes; those eyes that didn’t look up from the fire. The discussion was personal for both of them, it was getting uncomfortable, “My-my name is Marcy; I’d like to thank you sincerely for saving me-and the nuns-back there.”

   He nodded to this. It seemed to her that he was going to give her his name. She hadn’t expected him to, but the pause after his nod seemed to extend and accentuate her thoughts. Was she welcome here? Here beside his fire? Here in the same forest? Here in this unreasonably uncomfortable moment in time?

   His eyes never left her own. Hers were gazing around rapidly, looking for something; a way out? Was she afraid of him? Were people so automatically afraid of him? She bit her lip and scratched at her nose. She wasn’t afraid of him. She was just uncomfortable with his lack-of-response.

   It was only a moment, but she still felt it, and he had come to realize it, “My name is Ma...Gil. You can call me Gil.” He thought for another moment and added, “You are welcome for the assistance with the wolfs, but you didn’t have a chance against them.”

   She was happy to know he had a name and was equally happy that he had told her it. His last comment seemed abrasive, but it wasn’t intended, “We would have died in there. So I stood up to fight.”

   “Die fighting, hmm?” He stated more then asked.

   “Well, yes, exactly.” She said, looking up from the fire with an excessive blinking of her eyes as if waking from a dream, “You-you didn’t know about the Festival, where are you headed?”

   She thought better of asking where he was from. Something about him, his light blue hair, his weapons, his pale hardened skin, and even his voice all said to her, ‘you don’t want to know little doe, just know I come from harder times’. This was not far from the truth, not at all.
“I search for a scientific mind.” He said, not wishing to give all the details, if not necessary.

   “The Ashtears perhaps?” She said, finding a stick and poking it into the core of the flame, “They’re supposed to be on the forefront of the major techno revolution. There’s supposed to be next to nothing the great Lucca can’t do.”

   “That’s good to hear.” Gil said. The connections were adding up, but it was too soon to tell. He hadn’t meant for this comment to sound like it did fortunately enough. He was simply thinking how it must be to be so recognized as Lucca at this point in her life. Again, he was drifting back to them as if they were childhood friends. He risked it, “I heard she hasn’t been as active recently though.”

   “Huh?” She was popped out of another realm of dream, one of sheer surprise, “Uh, actually, I think you’re right. She’s getting older now though. I don’t think she’s married yet. I wonder where all that talent’s going to go after her.”

   “I’m sure she has understudies or the like.” He said. His chance paid off. It seems that she had been slowing down & getting old. What  Prometheus said about her Time Egg could be true. Gil’s face showed obvious dissatisfaction.

   “So then, you hope to find one of those understudies I take it?” Marcy asked him after he shook off his thoughts.

   “Yes, that’s what I have planned exactly, if Lucca cannot help me.” He said with all honesty. He actually doubted whether or not he should approach Lucca at all. Perhaps a raid was in order, he thought to himself with a cynical sort of pleasure. He doubted she would allow him to use it if she thought it wouldn’t work. So he wondered if she knew whether or not it would work. Perhaps only Prometheus knew.

   “What need?” She asked inquisitively.

   “’Need’?” He asked, searching the recent conversation, “Oh, I-I too am looking for...for someone I lost.”

   “What?” She had never come across anyone with a similar goal in her entire life, “You’re kidding.”

   “About this, I never kid.” The statement would have made him laugh. He thought briefly of his sister, “It happened long ago, I was much younger then even you.”

   “Wow. My brother-I lost him when I was too young to remember much.” She said, the story needed to be told, and this was her chance to tell it, “I just remember a large dark silhouette taking him and a heavy smell of burning tobacco. I remember screaming loudly. I’ve found out that the man I seek wears a patch over one eye.”

   “So which do you think you’ll find first; your brother or the man with the patch over his eye?” He said, knowing exactly what she wanted, “Which do you want to find first?”

   “My brother of course!” She said, surprising him at first. She paused, lowered her head, shadows swallowed her eyes, “Sometimes though, all I’d like is just one crack at the bastard. Just once, right across the cheek.”

   She grinded a knuckle into the dirt beside her and he understood. It was too coincidental. He would have to do something about it and he knew, “I’m going to turn in.”

   “Yes, okay.” She said meekly. She had wanted to ask about his amazing ability, but it still didn’t seem like the proper time. Tomorrow would be her chance. He rounded a great tree and sat at its base. She laid herself down by the fire, warming herself, and drifting off into sleep.

   A great deep white mist rolled into the forest, engulfing everything, smothering the fire. The forest fell back; Gil was now inside Lavos’ core again. He could hear it breathing all around him. In and out in large sucking gasps. There was a great white light coming from the center of the shell. A blue flash shocked him, pulsating in surges of brilliant blinding light.

   A dream

   He was on his side; his face covered in deep cuts and marks, one eye was bleeding and battered shut. Blood trickled from his lip. He was screaming something, blood spattering out his mouth in all directions. There was furious and panicked anger swelling across his face. His arm flashed forward, trying desperately...

   Just a dream

   The birds twittered, both in her sleepy mind and in the waking forest. She was still deep and sound asleep. Dreaming a dream she had dreamt for many of the lost years of her own youth: her brother was dead. She finally found him and he was dead. The man with the eye patch was no where to be seen.

   A dream

   Her focus shifted. She was stalking the man, hunting the man. Her own eye was adorned with an eye patch now. Her bright dress darkened to black as she swept through sleepy little villages and wet shingled rooftops, wide open grassy fields and sandy deserts, windy & rock-strewn mountains, boundless frames of existence. Nothing would stop her.

   A dream

   Gil blocked her way, stolid and calm. She was a wraith of fury and anger. She beat at his chest, demanding he let her go, but he did nothing but stand there, looking down at her petite little form with a kind of sadness-a kind no one had ever seen him give. She cried in his arms, wishing the dreams away.

   Just a dream

   Marcy awoke suddenly as if coming up from the deep for a refreshing breath of air. Her dreams had choked her, the wolfs had jolted her. The fire was long out, nothing but a burnt char in the earth. Someone had mashed dirt into it in the morning.

   The sun had risen hours earlier. She had slept late. Looking around, she noticed that Gil was gone. She circled the tree he had slept against and found nothing but moss and a lot of empty space. She was alone again. She cursed out loud. The tip of the cross atop the church could be seen just barely floating above a few trees in the distance. Would he have gone back there? Of course not she thought to herself.

   The fact remained; he ditched her. She didn’t know what to think. Why was he being a jerk to her? What was he hiding? Did he know something about her brother? No, it was something else, something personal, she knew.

   When she gave herself time to think, she often found that she could find some relatively good answers to any question she might have. Too many people she had talked to always jumped to conclusions before really thinking things out. They acted like children. Even the wisest elders she’d met thought in that same regard. Sometimes she felt the need to pound them into little bits with her fists. She really loved the feeling she had decided long ago. Fighting was in her spirit, it was part of her.

   He left at the crack of dawn. He looked down on her smallish figure in the light of the new day and his eyes did a slight smile. She reminded him of better times, when he was just starting out. Ready to be molded into a killing machine bent on vengeance. It was all there. It was practically fate he thought, slightly amused. With his boot he kicked some dirt over the dying ashes of the fire.

   He floated out of the environs without so much as a single twig snapping or a leaf crunching. The need to say goodbye was not even so much as a drifting thought in some deep corner of his brain. He knew what he was going to do, what had to be done. If this was what it was, then he’d let it, but not until he knew. There were too many important things on the line. Too many whole lives.

   This girl was innocent enough and strong to boot; her destiny was, in effect, his to take. It was he who saved her from the untimely fate which awaited her. In the original timeline, she died, the nuns died, the wolfs fed and grew and the chapel turned to a decomposing graveyard to passing travelers, never to be entered again, never to be torn down. Perhaps it was this that guided things. There was no fate to be found here, just timelines interweaving with change, rolling with the punches, re-stitching itself whole again, if not with just longer sleeves.

   The Wind was blowing now; hard and swift.

   Do you hear that sound around you...?

This Chapter greatly inspires a lot of the happenings of later chapters, especially the dream sequences. I was never so fascinated with my own work until I started to write characters dreams. It's just something that seems really odd to me. Imaginary characters with imagination, am I right? So, yes, in later chapters, yes, you can expect other ominous dreams that fortell and reality playing some of it out...